The purple cauliflower, scientifically known as Brassica oleracea var. botrytis, is a visually striking hybrid cultivar that thrives in cooler climates. It belongs to the botanical family Brassicaceae.
The development of the colored cultivar involved a lengthy process of traditional crossbreeding between heirloom cultivars and the identification of spontaneous mutations occurring in fields.
Although the vibrant hue of purple cauliflower may initially appear artificial and reminiscent of the character Barney, it is important to note that this coloring is not the result of any artificial dyes.
Rather, it is entirely natural. Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that purple cauliflower possesses a delightful taste that is well regarded by many. Keep reading to find out more!
How Do I Describe the Purple Cauliflower?
The purple cauliflower variety is characterized by a head of moderate to substantial size, typically measuring between 15 and 30 centimetres in circumference.
Occasionally, this head is accompanied by green leaves that possess a dense, fibrous midrib.
The heads consist of several densely packed, branched florets that exhibit a firm texture, some crumbliness, and a colour spectrum spanning from lavender and violet to deep purple.
Beneath the outer layer, the stems and core lack the presence of purple pigmentation, instead exhibiting tints ranging from white to cream. Furthermore, they possess a texture that is both firm and compact.
The purple cauliflower possesses a delicate, herbaceous aroma and exhibits a gentle, pleasant, and nutty taste profile devoid of the typical bitterness found in other types of cauliflower.
Every component of the plant, including the stems, heads, and leaves, can be used as food.
When these parts are cooked, the heads transform, becoming soft, chewy, and supple in texture, while also acquiring a more pronounced, neutral, and nutty flavour profile.
Why is the Purple Cauliflower Purple?
There is no need for concern. The purple cauliflower possesses its natural coloration and is not artificially coloured.
The distinctive hue of this entity is derived by anthocyanin, an antioxidant present in red cabbage and red wine.
The impact of sun exposure on the cauliflower is intensified, leading to the manifestation of vibrant purple heads. Historically, cauliflower has been selectively grown to cultivate a head devoid of inherent pigmentation.
However, as a result of contemporary fascination with diverse cultivars, it is not infrequent to encounter cauliflower in hues such as purple, green, and even orange.
How Do I Use the Purple Cauliflower?
The flavor and texture of purple cauliflower are comparable to those of white cauliflower, thus allowing for seamless substitution in recipes without any detrimental consequences.
However, it is evident that visual perception plays a significant role in the enjoyment of food. Thus, it is crucial to consider scenarios in which the color of a dish can enhance its appeal.
When utilized in unprocessed forms such as florets on a tray of raw vegetables or when chopped or grated for use in salads, the vibrant color of the vegetable will be prominently seen.
The same principle applies to the process of pickling. When boiled or cooked beyond the point of being crisp-tender, the intensity of the violet color in the mash, for instance, will be somewhat diminished.
However, the hue of purple cauliflower possesses a strong allure for children, making it a potentially effective strategy to engage young individuals who typically exhibit aversion towards consuming vegetables.
How Do I Prepare the Purple Cauliflower?
Prior to utilizing cauliflower for various culinary purposes such as steaks, florets, or riced cauliflower, it is advisable to commence the preparation process by cleaning the vegetable.
One effective method that has been discovered involves removing the leaves by snapping them off, cutting around half an inch from the bottom of the stem, and immersing the entire head in a sizable container filled with chilled water.
The head should be periodically agitated within the water for a duration of approximately thirty minutes. This process has the dual purpose of removing any accumulated material and revitalizing the scalp.
Thereafter, proceed to vigorously shake the object and thereafter employ a gentle patting motion in order to remove any excess moisture. Subsequently, one may proceed with the necessary preparations for the recipe.
Read also: Is The Cat Palm Actually About a Cat?
What is the History of the Purple Cauliflower?
The origins of cauliflower are said to be traced back to the Northeastern Mediterranean region, with the earliest known documentation of this vegetable dating back to the 1st century as mentioned in Pliny the Elder’s renowned work, Natural History.
Cauliflower cultivation in the Middle Ages was predominantly concentrated on the island of Cyprus, where the practice of blanching was employed to produce heads devoid of colouration.
Subsequently, cauliflower was introduced to Western Europe around the 13th century, and its cultivation expanded to encompass Northern Europe, Asia, and North America by the early 19th century.
During the 20th century, the fortuitous discovery of an orange cauliflower variety in a North American field prompted scientists to selectively breed and enhance its desirable traits, resulting in the development of a novel cultivar.
Although the orange type of cauliflower first had limited acceptance, scientists persevered in their efforts to selectively breed and crossbreed cauliflowers, ultimately resulting in the emergence of more natural mutations, including the Purple cauliflower.
The emergence of coloured cauliflower types gained prominence at farmer’s markets during the initial years of the 21st century.
Presently, purple cauliflower is readily available throughout the year via specialized grocers, wholesalers, and farmer’s markets in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
What is the Cultural History of the Purple Cauliflower?
The monochromatic cuisine trend of 2020 was the integration of fruits and vegetables that shared similar hues within the same colour family into culinary preparations.
The “eat the rainbow” phenomenon, which has gained significant traction on social media and has been actively endorsed by chefs, experienced a shift during the summer of 2020 amidst the coronavirus lockdown.
Chefs, in response to the circumstances, started replacing their vibrant and multicoloured culinary creations with more straightforward and monochrome dishes.
The concept of monochromatic cuisine was first introduced by French artist Sophie Calle in 1997, through her renowned photographic series titled “The Chromatic Diet.”
The food photography genre had a subsequent examination during the initial years of the 21st century, coinciding with the emergence of social media platforms.
Notably, in the year 2020, the practice of capturing monochromatic meals gained prominence as a prevailing trend within the community of food stylists, photographers, and culinary experts.
The consumption of monochromatic cuisine has gained significant popularity in India due to its ability to offer a remarkable sensory encounter.
The human brain relies on visual stimuli to anticipate the taste of food, with variations in colour intensity suggesting a potentially limited flavour profile.
Upon sampling the dish, consumers are met with a plethora of distinct flavour profiles emanating from an assortment of fruits, vegetables, and sauces, so engendering an unforeseen gustatory encounter.
Read also: What Does the Yellow Daisy Symbolize?
Tip-Off: How Do I Store the Purple Cauliflower?
It is advisable to refrain from cleaning or preparing the head of the cauliflower until it is deemed necessary for immediate usage.
To properly store the item, it is recommended to enclose it within a moistened paper towel or a tea towel that is free of lint.
Subsequently, place it within a zip-top bag, ensuring proper sealing, and create a few perforations using a fork or a tiny knife to facilitate adequate ventilation for the item.
Subsequently, place the item in the designated crisper drawer within your refrigerator, ensuring its preservation till the desired moment of culinary preparation.
When stored appropriately, a complete cauliflower head can often remain fresh for a duration of two to four weeks. It is advisable to replace the moistened paper towel or tea towel every three to four days.
The longevity of cut florets is typically between four and seven days, while it is advisable to utilize rice promptly, ideally within a maximum of two days. Thanks for reading!